Valerian is an herb native to Europe and the Near East, but has been introduced to the United States. Since ancient times, it has been used to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and treat insomnia. Valerian has continued in that through the 19th century up to today.
You can go to your local pharmacy or supplements store and buy Valerian root capsules, which are still used for stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness.
Black Cohosh was another very popular herbal medicine during the 19th century. Like most medicinal plants, it was used for a wide variety of complaints including menopausal symptoms, bronchitis, fevers, and even snakebites.
I was very surprised to learn that Black Cohosh is still sold as a popular treatment for menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
Saw Palmetto is still available at the pharmacy today because many believe that it can promote prostate health as well as kidney and urinary tract function.
Primrose is still promoted today as a natural supplement to help alleviate the common discomforts of the menstrual cycle, particularly cramping and pain.
None of these supplements are tested or endorsed by the FDA, so they are not called medicines. They cannot legally be sold as a diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease without the rigorous examination and testing of the FDA. While none of these supplements will do you any harm, there's no guarantee they actually will do you any good either.
I am not currently growing any of these plants in the Pry Garden, but I hope to introduce all of them this year, except the saw palmetto, which won't likely prosper in the cold weather this far north.
These are just four more examples, but many more are still out there. Perhaps I will do a followup post soon to show some more examples of 19th century herbal medicine still in current practice.